Brief Interventions

Your initial meeting with a client will help you decide whether they would benefit most from case management or brief intervention.

Where brief intervention is favoured, assessment usually unfolds faster and takes the form of a question and answer exchange. The pace of assessment in these instances allows referrals and linkages to be made quickly in order to maximise benefit for the client in the limited time you have together.

The timely nature of brief interventions means that narrowing focus to one or two key issues (highlighted as priorities by the client) is essential.

Many workers will find that brief intervention is favoured by some clients and also allows workers to support more young people overall.

Brief intervention has been found to be particularly useful among pregnant clients who present requiring swift connection with a hospital, maternal and child health and other antenatal services. Once the child is born, it’s likely your services will be required less as the client will be understandably preoccupied with parenting and, ideally, sufficiently linked in with the necessary supports.

Clients experiencing a sudden drastic change such as pregnancy, or a crisis such as removal of their child/children, will commonly reconnect with a past worker for support and guidance.

The existing therapeutic relationship might mean that an entirely new care plan for the client isn’t necessary; rather, your involvement might simply take the form of secondary consult or brief intervention. Be wary of overwhelming a client with services and workers. If a therapeutic relationship exists with a previous worker (regardless of that worker’s domain), you might only be called upon to offer that worker advice and suggestions tailored to the client’s present situation.

Often brief interventions are needed for individuals with whom you previously worked on a case management basis. Even after clients’ cases are closed, you will often remain their first port of call in an emergency. For example, if a young mother is suddenly concerned with the development of her child’s hearing or if she unexpectedly finds herself struggling to pay rent, she might reach out to you confident in the knowledge that you can connect her swiftly with assistance.    

Further Reading